by Louis MacNeice
THE room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was
Spawning snow and pink roses against it
Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:
World is suddener than we fancy it.
World is crazier and more of it than we think,
Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion
A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
The drunkenness of things being various.
And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for world
Is more spiteful and gay than one supposes--
On the tongue on the eyes on the ears in the palms of one's
There is more than glass between the snow and the huge roses.
'The room was suddenly rich' . . . The 'suddenly' captures that sense of unheralded insight, a sharp tang of delight, which makes a moment permanently memorable. We have all had such moments, many of them reaching back to childhood. They remain in the mind like portraits in a long, dark gallery, waiting for the chance smell, or word, or sound which will light them again. They come back to us with nostalgia and poignancy; often with the suggestion of some close approach to greater realities, a 'near annunciation', to borrow Day Lewis's phrase. The world is irradiated with an unfamiliar brilliance. Memory, of course, alters as it recalls, but when such moments happen,